Live streaming has generated a lot of buzz lately – and because of that, countless businesses have jumped aboard the live streaming hype train. The trouble is, not all live streams live up to expectations.
Before you jump into the fun, take a look at these top 5 live streaming mistakes. They’ll help you avoid common pitfalls so you can focus on creating the live stream you’ve always dreamed of!
1 – Live Streaming the Wrong Things
There’s a big difference between focusing on value for your customers and providing value for yourself. While your features, benefits, and promotions may sound great to you – it’s a turn off for viewers.
Focus on providing your audience with something of value. Entertainment, helpful tips, reviews and behind-the-scenes access are all great places to start. However, it’s important to understand your target audience. Their interests, schedule, demographic, and even location can help you find the perfect topic.
Whatever you choose to stream, make sure it’s interesting or exciting. If it’s not, your audience won’t be engaged and you’ll be wasting your time.
2 – Forgetting (Or Failing) to Promote Your Live Stream
Even the world’s greatest live streams would fail if nobody knew about them. To make sure your streams gets maximum exposure, here are some ways you should promote it:
Running an email marketing campaign can help you draw interest from new leads. If you have any leads subscribed to your mailing list already, send them a quick email about the upcoming live stream and invite them to attend.
Create blog posts that discuss your live stream’s topic, then prompt viewers to sign-up for, or view the details about your upcoming live stream.
Promoting your stream to your own followers seems like a no-brainer. They’re already interested in what you have to say, so give it a shot!
3 – Not Preparing Properly Before Your Live Stream Starts
Sometimes lives streams have a great topic, lots of viewers, but it’s clear that they didn’t prepare – and when streams are disorganized, they appear unprofessional. However, preparing for your stream properly will ensure that it’s professional and engaging. Here’s a checklist that will help you:
Choose your shooting location and equipment
If you know what you’re filming, choose the proper equipment ahead of time. Once you’re on location, choose the perfect spot to capture everything that’s going on.
Prepare equipment and connection
Run a few sound checks and test streams to be sure that your hardware, software and internet connection are running smoothly.
Some things that happen during a live stream are beyond your control. What you can control, though, is how prepared you are. Practice capturing any anticipated or planned situations before your stream goes live.
Monitor the conversation
Your stream could be talked about on multiple platforms. Use a monitoring tool to pick up on keywords, or give viewers a hashtag to use. If your stream has live chat, be sure to keep an eye on it to answer any questions and remove any inappropriate comments.
4 – Live Streaming With Poor Quality Audio, Video, or Connection
Live streaming is all about making awesome events available to people who can’t be there. So, it’s important that you provide those people with an experience that makes them feel like they’re not missing a thing. Live streaming with poor quality video, audio, or internet can easily ruin the entire experience. More specifically, here are some things to look out for:
If your stream is too dark, nobody will see a thing. Unless you know for sure that you’ll have terrific natural lighting, always bring lights.
Frame rate should be changed according to the event you’re filming. However, higher frame rates consume more bandwidth. If you have a stationary event, use a lower frame rate. Use higher frame rates only for events with a lot of movement.
Audio is a huge part of the viewing experience. If you choose to use an external microphone (which I highly recommended), place your microphone in a spot where in can capture all the important audio and limit distracting noises.
If your stream is choppy or unreliable, you’ll lose viewers fast. Streaming over a strong internet connection isn’t enough. Try and stream using around half of your upload speed. This will allow viewers with slow connection speed to watch uninterrupted.
Streams are not a “set it and forget it” operation. Always make sure the video looks great, and the audio isn’t too loud or too quiet. Remember, anything can happen when you go live, so always monitor what’s being seen and heard at all times!
5 – Choosing the Wrong Live Stream Hosting Service
This is perhaps the worst mistake you could make. Even if you have all of your ducks in a row, the wrong platform could limit your viewer’s experience – and your results. There are many hosting services on the market, each with their own list of strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few that we think you should consider:
It’s 100% free, offers a great level of reach if used correctly, and features that you would look for on a “social media” platform.
Also free, Facebook offers the ultimate in social interaction during live streams.
Skype, JoinMe, etc.
These screen-share and webcam services wouldn’t be useful for big events, but they work great for meetings and any other streams with a few viewers.
One of the most popular hosting services available – It is suitable for a wide range of events, and budgets.
Offering standard features set at a fair price point, Ustream is a good option for the casual streamer. Their pricing is based on your hours streamed, though. So be sure you know what you need before jumping into things!
If you want to reach as many people as possible, Restream is a good option to look at. It allows you to stream your content across 30+ platforms (like Ustream and YouTube) at the same time.
For those looking for a custom-branded / white-labeled look, or to offer subscriptions and pay-per-view packages, we’re the best option.
Live streaming is awesome. Avoiding the 5 common mistakes listed above will help propel you into live streaming success!
If you’d like to learn more about live streaming professionally, reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to help you out.